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Author interview with Julie Ryan

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– What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was in Junior School I wanted to be a musician. I rather fancied myself as a concert pianist until I realized that I wasn’t really very good at it. Then I wanted to be an actress. In fact, I belong to our local amateur dramatic society so I guess that kind of fulfills that ambition. As soon as I studied French though, I knew I wanted to be a French teacher so that’s what I did.

-What is your favorite genre and what drew you to it?

I’ll read most genres as long as the storyline grabs me but I’m particularly drawn to contemporary fiction, historical fiction and crime. If a book is set in Greece then it’s a winner.

– When did you start writing in a professional way?

I wrote a lot as a child but then life got in the way and I only wrote the occasional short story for myself. Then in 2012 a chance encounter with a local author prompted me to dust off a short story and turn it into a novel. A year later, Jenna’s Journey, was born.

– Do you have a specific writing method or ritual? How many hours do you devote to writing every day?

I write when I’m in the mood and am undisturbed! Needless to say if I’m ‘in the zone’ I can pretty much spend a whole weekend doing nothing much else but write. That’s rare though, on average I probably spend about an hour a day writing. It may not be much but it’s a case of chipping away until it’s done. I can’t write without a cup of coffee next to me though.

-What part of writing do you enjoy most?

THE END. Only joking although that is the most satisfying part. Once I start I enjoy the beginning, the only bit I have trouble with is the middle part.

-How do you develop your characters?

I start out with only a brief idea of their name and physical appearance. Trawling the Internet for photos of possible characters helps to get them in my mind. Then I start writing and I find they develop a character all of their own. I often have to go back and change things because the characters ‘tell’ me it’s not right. I love it when that happens.

-Which of the characters in any of your books mean the most to you and why?

I have a soft spot for Jenna in ‘Jenna’s Journey’ as she was my firstborn if you like. Although it’s fiction, there is a lot of me in her but she’s younger and prettier than me.

-What are your aspirations as a writer and where do you see yourself in five years time?

I’ve come such a long way in three years. I now have a contract with Booktrope for my first book and have three other books out on Amazon. I hope that in another five years I’ll still be writing. There might be another couple of books to come in the Greek Island Mystery series or who knows, I may try a different genre. I would love to see my books on supermarket shelves so for me that’s the next step.

-Which author has influenced your writing most?

I loved John Fowles’ ‘The Magus’ which had a profound effect on me.  His writing style is magical and the way he brings mystery to the page is wonderful. Victoria Hislop has also influenced my writing as I love the way she recreates a picture of Greece in times past. I admire her research.

-If you could go back in time and rewrite a known work of fiction, which would it be? Would you change the end? What would your alternative be?

That is such an interesting question. In my first book, I deliberately wrote it with a double ending – a kind of ‘Sliding Doors’ moment where the reader can choose which ending they prefer. Not everyone likes this approach but I really like the ‘What if?” idea. I wouldn’t dream of altering another writer’s ending as then you are creating a totally different book.

-What would you like to say to your readers?

If you read a book and like it, then please leave a review for the author. It means so much and it needn’t be very long.

Fun facts:

A colour- blue

A day of the year- my birthday

A favourite recipe- chocolate fudge cake

A movie- Shirley Valentine

A song-Two out of three ain’t bad – Meatloaf

A quote- ‘Je ne regrette rien’

 

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Author:

Author of I stand corrected, When I grow up... Bienvenidos a gatos anónimos, Pasarse cuatro Pueblos and Sesenta segundos dan para mucho, Patricia Asedegbega Nieto was born to a Spanish mother and a Nigerian father in Madrid. As a child, she relocated with her family to Nigeria and later returned to Spain, where she acquired her BSc and master´s degree. She is currently living near Madrid with her family and her very stubborn cat, Merlin Mojito.

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